Kathryn Tickell talks about the importance of connecting with the audience as a folk musician, and how that can lessen any performance anxiety. She discusses the way she rehearses with her band and how that supports them all in the freedom they have on stage.

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Kathryn Tickell is the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes, a composer, performer and successful recording artist whose work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria.

Kathryn was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 2015. The OBE recognises her extraordinary career which began with learning tunes from old shepherd friends and evolved to traverse genres from jazz and world music to large-scale orchestral works. Exploring and cultivating her bountiful native heritage of Northumberland have been a constant throughout.

Kathryn works regularly with her folk-classical ensemble The Side. The Side first toured the UK in autumn 2013 and their debut album was released in September 2014.  Early 2015 saw them play at the Berliner Philharmoniker and Luxembourg Philharmonie.

Kathryn is the founder of The Young Musicians Fund at the Community Foundation, which has raised over £100,000 for young people in the North East. The fund has built an endowment which will make grants to young musicians in the North East in perpetuity.

In 2013 Kathryn was awarded “Musician of the Year” in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Kathryn works collaboratively across many genres, making her work contemporary and exciting. In 2009, she was presented with The Queen’s Medal for Music, awarded to those deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to British music.

“To say that Kathryn plays pipes is like saying that Shakespeare was a bit of a writer… one of the true stars of our music.”  Living Tradition

“I can’t remember feeling so exhilarated by such a match of music and landscape.” Richard Morrison, The Times

 “…the best living advertisement for English folk music.” The Daily Telegraph

“…possibly Kathryn’s most important album to date. Probably my album of the year.” Dai Jeffries, BBC Radio 2 Magazine (reviewing Northumbrian Voices).